See the city from a different angle as you explore Tokyo with a lens in mind.

Camera-equipped smartphones, and the filter applications that let you easily tweak the pictures you take with them, have led to an explosion in the number of pictures you can find online. But there are plenty of people who still swear by their traditional DSLRs, and a growing number of photographers for whom “iPhoneography” has been a gateway drug into the world of camera gear and the technical elements that go into using the manual settings on a camera.

Tokyo is one of those cities that begs to be photographed: with its varied neighborhoods, architecture that ranges from hypermodern to time-honored traditional, and citizens known around the world for their taste in clothing, this urban environment is a shutterbug’s paradise. But capturing the images that might have inspired you to visit or move to Tokyo in the first place can be harder than you’d think, and you might find it challenging to figure out just how to capture that postcard-perfect picture.

Helping photographers overcome those difficulties is what led long-term Tokyo resident Richard Brown to put together an ebook, The Photographer’s Guide to Tokyo. The 70-page volume is filled with tips about buying photography equipment in Tokyo, where to capture some of the city’s most iconic views, and what to expect when you’re shooting there. This includes a selection of skyscrapers where you can get the best shots of city skylines, and the best time of day to shoot at Tokyo’s most picturesque shrines and temples; it also addresses some of the difficulties that you might not be expecting when you shoot in Tokyo—for example, what are the best approaches to dealing with the city’s notorious summer haze, and what are the best compositional strategies for handling Tokyo’s urban clutter?

Throughout the book, Brown presents examples of pictures he has taken over the years, explaining the settings for each shot and frequently discussing the process behind getting a specific photograph. Even iPhone photographers with no intentions of using (or buying) a lot of gear will find some tips and strategies that will make their next Instagram upload even more likeworthy.

Brown wrote The Photographer’s Guide to Tokyo as something of a farewell to the city: he moved back to Canada this month after living, working, and photographing in Tokyo for 15 years. We expect that he will be back and photographing the city some time again soon. You can check out a preview of the ebook and pick up your own copy at and on Amazon CanadaAmazon US, and Amazon UK.

–Alec Jordan

All photos © Richard Brown


Mt. Fuji seen from Tokyo



Tokyo Tower, seen from below



Shinjuku NS Building interior



Tokyo Tower, New Year



Long exposure on the Yurikamome Line